In a political development, the Janata Dal (United) (JD(U)) has taken a decisive step by expelling one of its prominent members, Ranbir Nandan, who also served as a Member of the Legislative Council (MLC) and the party's spokesperson. This move has ignited speculation within political circles, hinting at the possibility of his return to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), from which he had departed approximately a decade ago.
Ranbir Nandan's departure from the JD(U) was accompanied by the publication of his resignation letter, which was addressed to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and JD(U)'s national president, Rajiv Ranjan Singh 'Lalan.' In this letter, he explicitly conveyed his decision to resign from the primary membership of the party. Umesh Singh Kushwaha, the state president of JD(U), released a statement, asserting that Nandan would face expulsion for a duration of six years and would be relieved of all party positions and primary membership.
Ranbir Nandan's political journey includes a switch from the BJP to JD(U) back in 2013, shortly after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's initial departure from the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). Kumar's exit from the NDA was influenced by differences related to the growing prominence of Narendra Modi, who served as the Chief Minister of Gujarat at the time.
A noteworthy aspect of this political maneuver was that, despite his prior criticisms of the BJP following the JD(U)'s separation from the NDA, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar nominated Ranbir Nandan to the state legislative council in 2014. After the conclusion of his term, Nandan assumed the role of a state spokesperson for the party.
In recent times, Ranbir Nandan has been at the centre of discussions and unease within the JD(U). His confrontational stance towards the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), the JD(U)'s current primary ally, raised eyebrows and led to speculation regarding his political loyalties. Reports also noted his nostalgic comments about the harmonious partnership with the BJP, which came to an end approximately a year ago.
Furthermore, his absence from a recent meeting of JD(U)'s state spokespersons added to the growing speculation surrounding his political future.
While Ranbir Nandan did not offer specific reasons for his departure, Umesh Singh Kushwaha, JD(U)'s state president, released a statement accusing him of issuing press releases and statements that contradicted the party's ideological stance. This expulsion marks a significant development within the JD(U) and underscores the complexities of political realignments in the region.
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